Founded in 2007, Dropbox is the world’s first smart workspace, on a mission “to design a more enlightened way of working.” Dropbox currently has over 600 million users and offices in 12 cities. The company has seen 19% growth year-over-year as of Q3 2019. And they’re innovating on hiring metrics to keep that growth going.
Dropbox needed automated data collection and reporting so they could unlock both time and insights into their hiring funnel.
Mike Moriarty is Director of all Technical Staffing at Dropbox, where he’s been for three years—but he once worked in sales. That’s why, at his first recruiting role, Mike sat down to create a tracker spreadsheet for himself. He’d been used to monitoring his own progress against averages: “I knew that for every 10 referrals I got, three people would sit down with me, and one of them would buy within 12 months. I understood the metrics I could control and how many prospects I needed in each stage of the sales funnel to close a deal. It was crazy that that didn’t exist yet in recruiting.”
In creating his recruiting spreadsheets, Mike noticed that top-of-funnel stats, which are so crucial to the calculations, were missing. That’s where Gem came in. “Gem’s product is capturing that data for Dropbox for the first time ever. Now that we have top-of-funnel data—which we no longer have to spend hours collecting and manually recording—we have much better insights into which parts of the funnel to optimize. We can focus on what matters because Gem is in the background, contributing the numbers. Which for us means unlocking both time and insights.”
Gem’s data allows Mike to take a top-down approach, and individual recruiters to take a bottom-up approach. Recruiters learn to use the data for performance management. “Where are they trending? What are their ratios? Usually there’s one small piece of the funnel that’s a recruiter’s biggest challenge. If you’re reaching out to enough people but no one’s moving forward, then either you’re reaching out to the wrong people or you’re not great on the phone yet. If you’re not seeing many onsites, go back and connect the dots in the data: What were you doing two months ago? Probably not very many phone screens. And if we just fix that little snag, you’re gonna get better results with the same amount of effort.” Metrics have fundamentally shifted Dropbox’s approach to recruiting—from a numbers game to a thoughtful look at each stage in the hiring process.
Gem’s data also reveals “pipeline leaders”: recruiters who are experts at certain stages of the funnel. “The team teaches each other that way. Maybe I roll this up and I say to someone, ‘You need to talk to Vince [Gutierrez, Technical Recruiter at Dropbox] because Vince’s phone screen-to-onsite ratio is incredible. But Vince, you’ve reached out to 40 people and this person has reached out to 12 with the same number of responses. Dig in and find out what they’re saying in their emails’—which Vince can do right through Gem.” It’s an untraditional approach to performance management—and it’s made the team at Dropbox a best-in-class organization. Team members use Gem to see “their individual data against the team’s data, then go find the person who has strengths where they might not. Go shadow them. Sit down with a diversity sourcer—someone who has strategies for finding and nurturing underrepresented talent—and learn best practices if that’s where they’re struggling.”
Mike says that data has allowed for strategic repositioning of both candidates and recruiters, for both the best candidate experience and for recruiter workload management. On the one hand, “we can distribute candidates as evenly as possible. I don’t want to put 30 candidates in the pipeline for one role and only two in another; because when we close someone [in the pipeline of 30] we’ve got 29 candidates that are sold on that particular role, and now we have to try to sell them a different one.” To control for that, he looks at the balance of pipelines every week, and is cognizant of the candidates who are role-agnostic so that “we can educate them on other roles with pipelines that aren’t as full.” On the other hand, with Gem’s funnel passthrough rates in Pipeline Analytics, Mike can reposition recruiters based on their strengths. For example, he uncovered a group of recruiters who weren’t necessarily managing high volume funnels, but who “had good, efficient closes.” He created what they now call the FLC (full lifecycle) team, and “it’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made. I increased their PPR (productivity per resource) by 3x for the same cost to the company.”
“Thanks to Gem, I increased the PPR (productivity per resource) of the full lifecycle team by 3x for the same cost to the company.”
Mike encourages his team to use Gem’s data to own their own process and understand how to pull different levers, work their strengths and develop their weaknesses to control their output. He owes the recruiting team’s “very low” attrition rate and high satisfaction to the fact that “our sales pitch is: Come be your own CEO at Dropbox. I’m not your boss; I’m your business coach. That’s all.” Once you hire people who want to be those kinds of recruiters—“the self-accountable, data-minded, disciplined entrepreneurs—just get the obstacles out of their way, because they’re gonna run with it. It’s incredible to watch.”
According to Mike, Gem’s automated reporting has allowed Dropbox to get the fundamentals right in order to be able to innovate. “You can’t become extraordinary until you’ve got the ordinary processes down first. We’ve got these great automated metrics thanks to Gem; and those fundamentals have enabled us to move into the extraordinary space, where we’re building new metrics that have never really existed in staffing. It’s completely changed our game internally. I get emotional about Gem. Because here’s this spreadsheet I built on my couch eight years ago. And with Gem, it’s all automated. That’s why I’m so so excited to be a part of Gem, and why I believe in it: Because it was built for the recruiter. You’ve got to build for the individual contributor if you want this industry to thrive and last.”